Directory: A Beneficial Genealogical
Classmates, the newsletter released recently announced the wrong person as the award winner. The article should have read:
In preparing for the reunion and family reunions as well, many of us are focusing more on our family histories and Trees. The City Directory is a genealogical tool that is sometimes overlooked. A City directory contains the names and addresses of businesses operating in a city and the names and addresses of the residents of the city. In addition to this information, the directory may list the names of churches, schools, and organizations in the community. City directories, which are published yearly, may be found in public libraries.
Recently, I decided to re-examine the earliest editions of the Gainesville City Directory at the main branch of the Hall County Library. The earliest available editions are the 1911-1912 and 1913-1914 directories. These books are not on the shelves or in general circulation because of their age and fragility. They are kept under lock and key. However, they are available to patrons for examination upon request. The patron must submit a driver’s license to be held by the librarian while the books are in the patron’s possession. These books cannot be checked out so anyone planning to examine them will probably need a pen and notepad for taking notes. I would not recommend photocopying because they are so fragile.
In the 1911-1912 Gainesville City Directory, African-Americans are listed in separate categories marked (Col.) or Colored. The 1913-1914 Gainesville City Directory lists everybody under the same categories but distinguishes African-Americans by placing (C.) or Colored after the entry or person’s name.
Below are samples of some of the information I found in the 1913-1914 Gainesville City Directory, published a hundred years ago.
George W. Stephens ©
Tailor 33 ½ Spring Street Ph.334
Adam Bryant© Barber 144
Albert Davis© 74 Athens
E. Bryant& Son© Shoemaker
70 Athens Street
W. Butler (Nettie) ©
Grocer 62 Race Street
John Kidd© Eureka
Pressing Club 33 ½ Main St. Ph.497
Royal Pressing Club (Col.)
36 E. College Ave
R.A. Chamblee© Georgia
Shoe Hospital 7 E. Spring St. Residence 39 Race St.
M.W. Brown© Athens near
George W. Morgan© 78
C. Neal © 32 Fair
Mariah Barksdale© 62 E.
Jessie Byrd© 66 E.
Richard Key© 123 Athens
Rosa Oliver © 52 Athens
R. W. Chamblee- 78
Athens St. Residence- 50 Race St.
George W. Morgan-E.
Summit near Athens
Union Mutual Industries
Assn. 225 Pryor
Richard Merck© 66
Dr. N.A. Doyle ©
Physician 60 Athens Street
First Baptist 38 W.
High Street- Rev. W.M. Dorsey, Pastor
Methodist Episcopal 14 Palmour St. – Rev. F.S. Harris, Pastor
Fire Baptized Holiness
corner Race and E. College Ave. (no regular services)
Sanders Chapel 31
Whitehall St. – Rev. J.C. Wilson, Pastor
St. John Baptist Church
Norwood between E. Summit and E. High St.. Rev. H. H. Anderson, Pastor
St. Paul Methodist
Episcopal E. Summit corner S. Pryor- Rev. E.E. Miller, Pastor
Methodist Episcopal 131 E. Summit -Rev. W.H. Johnson, Pastor
Gainesville Graded and
High School for Colored Hunter between Fair and School St. C.S. Williams,
Principal * correction (C.E. Williams, Principal)
Gainesville High and
Industrial School for Colored Beulah Rucker, Superintendent
143 Athens Street
Northwestern Normal and
Industrial School for Colored
J. M. Hunter, Principal
There are a number of fraternal and “Secret Society” organizations listed in this directory. Perhaps I’ll write about what I’ve learned about these organizations and some of the entrepreneurs listed here in future articles. In the meantime, genealogy enthusiasts add the city directory to your list of important research resources.
Linda Rucker Hutchens